Newley's Notes

NN243: Howlin’ Huskies

Ginger high five

Sent as an email newsletter December 13, 2020. Not a Newley’s Notes subscriber yet? Get it here.

👋 Hi friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

🙌 Photo of the week, above: from a recent Hong Kong expedition. Here’s a paw-sitevly paw-some high five from Ginger, straight to you.

On to this week’s NN.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

1) 🩺 Covid–19 vaccine update: Here we go! The FDA on Friday authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech shot. Health-care workers, people in nursing homes and long term care could be the first to get it, followed by essential workers and others. The general population may receive it in the spring or summer, by which time other vaccines may also be approved.

2) ⚖️ Big news out Wednesday: Facebook Hit With Antitrust Lawsuits by FTC, State Attorneys General. The lede from my WSJ colleagues Brent Kendall and John D. McKinnon: “The Federal Trade Commission and 46 states sued Facebook Inc. on Wednesday, accusing the social-media giant of buying and freezing out small startups to choke competition.”

3) 🎸 The great Bob Dylan has sold his entire publishing catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group for what is likely “hundreds of millions of dollars – rivaled in value and influence only by the Beatles,” my colleague Anne Steele writes. (Yes, the lede of the story is: “Bob Dylan is tangled up in green.”)

4) 🌵 Austin, Texas is seeing an influx of new residents as companies and workers relocate during the pandemic. The cost of living is lower, there’s no state income tax, the weather is warm, there’s space for social distancing, and there’s a ton of low-cost housing. (Among those moving to the Lone Star State: none other than Elon Musk.)

5) 🚢 A four-day cruise? To nowhere? During a pandemic? A Royal Caribbean vessel returned to shores in Singapore after someone on board…tested positive for Covid–19. (The company told guests it would give them a “future cruise credit for the value of one day’s worth of cruise fare paid to be used on a future sailing.”) Oh, and: it looks like result may have been a false positive.

6) 🎧 Gadget alert: Apple’s releasing over-the-ear, noise canceling headphones called AirPods Max. They cost $549 and go on sale December 15.

7) 🏢 In “Why Do We Still Love “The Office”?, Sarah Larson writes in the New Yorker that ”Though it ended seven years ago,“ it it still among Netflix’s most popular shows. And ”this year two of the most popular podcasts on iTunes and Spotify were ‘Office’ podcasts, hosted by former cast members," she writes.

8) 🍗 Headline of the week: “Love me tenders: Why KFC is pushing a sexy Colonel Sanders movie”. Please enjoy the trailer, starring Mario Lopez, aka “Saved by the Bell”’s A.C. Slater.

9) 👩‍🍳 Tweet of the week: “Nigella Lawson saying ‘Microwave’ like this has made my Christmas already.”

10) 🐶 Canine-related longread of the week, by Jeff MacGregor in Smithsonian Magazine: “The New Science of Our Ancient Bond With Dogs.” (Thanks, Anasuya!)


🐕 Dog-related video of the week: “Huskie puppy doesn’t quite get the howling thing.”


📕 What I’m Reading

I finished “The Great Firewall of China: How to Build and Control an Alternative Version of the Internet,” by James Griffiths, and have now turned to something altogether different: Nina Teicholz’s 2014 bestseller, “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.”


💡 Quote of the week:

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days.” – Annie Dillard


👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,


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